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Tuesday, 22 May, 2012

I am the girl that loves breakfast anytime of the day — morning, noon, night. You get the idea. Something about eggs and toast with the occasional heaping helping of bacon or pan fried potatoes cooked in the leftover bacon grease…MMMmmm. Mr Carinae (aka Colin, or @Kaadian on Twitter) is a breakfast fan as well, but mostly because I cook it.

The other day I wanted to surprise him. We’d both had some busy weeks at work where we got home and let the pets run wild on us…while having fallen asleep on the couch. However, neither of us noticed until we woke up an hour or two later. I with a kitty purring on my belly — I love my cat, but am so allergic to him. I woke up gasping for air and coughing. Mr Carinae had the adorable Rex snoring away on his sock covered feet. Neither of us had the inclination to cook, so we ended up going out, eating like zombies, coming home and then promptly falling asleep. We don’t like doing that.

Breakfast is my favorite meal and Colin’s. I decided to make a childhood breakfast dish for my husband that most Americans who as children had to have had at least once in their life. I was no exception. I made Egg in the Hole for him. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s extremely simple: get a piece of bread and using a regular drinking glass, cut a hole out of the middle of the bread. Drop some butter into a pan, let it melt. Then take the hole that was cut out with the glass and the bread itself. I like to let the butter in the pan butter both sides of the hole and the piece of bread. Then you take an egg and carefully crack it into the hole of the bread. I sprinkle a hint of salt and pepper and cook it over medium low heat. Then I flip the cut out hole and the piece of bread with the egg in the center. Let that cook for another minute or two — I like my yolks runny. Some don’t. To each his own.

This is the finished product…

I love to tear the yolk open on that sucker and dip the displaced piece of buttery goodness bread right in the yolk, letting it soak up that goodness. I know we all eat it differently, but that’s how I do it. British Mr Carinae had never had Egg in the Hole and he was most surprised. I had used a bit more butter than I usually do, so it was unusually rich…but he seemed to love it!

While I had introduced him to this American version of a childhood breakfast, I had often heard our Brit friends talk about boiled Eggs and Soldiers while growing up.

Pray tell, “What is that?!” you ask. This British breakfast is something most Americans do not know about unless you are married to a Brit or hang around them a lot. Eggs and Soldiers are also far less labor intensive than Egg in the Hole. Sometimes I’m incredibly lazy and I don’t want to work at making breakfast. If I can make breakfast in two skillets (one for eggs and the other for potatoes), I’m all for it. The less clean-up the better.

Digressing! Back on track again. Sorry! Eggs and Soldiers…so, so simple. Soft boiled eggs and buttered toast make this British childhood breakfast fun! You also get to use those egg cups you got as wedding presents…you know what I’m talking about. You stare at them, then at each other, scratch your heads and go, “Egg cups?!” Yes, egg cups.

Egg sitting pretty in an egg cup...


Soldiers reporting for duty, ma'am.

After you’ve soft boiled your eggs, carefully break off the tops of them. Take your sliced up pieces of toast and dunk in the warm, runny yolk…Heaven. Sheer, utter bliss. If you really want to make it a wonderfully British-esque breakfast, go to your local Fresh and Easy and pick up some British Style bacon they carry. Fry it up and dunk that in your soft boiled egg.

I wasn’t able to get a photo of toast being dunked into the boiled egg because when I turned around, hubby had started eating. I think the childhood temptation won for him.

Last, but not least…if you want to add a truly carbalicious moment to your breakfast, add in potatoes…pan fried in another skillet, of course!

Lazy Pan Fried Potatoes Recipe

I use about 4 medium sized Russet potatoes. Depending on my mood, I either peel them or just scrub them really good. I cut them length wise into 2 pieces. I take one piece and cut it length wise again, but then I turn it (so it’s now width wise facing me) and cut it into 4 pieces. I repeat that with the second half and the rest of the potatoes. I put some olive oil and butter into a skillet on medium heat. When the oil and butter are heated and melted, I carefully put the potatoes in the pan and gently shake it until almost all the pieces are lying flat at the bottom. I sprinkle the potatoes liberally with salt (unless I’m cooking it in bacon grease) and place a lid with a small vent to let the steam escape. I turn the heat down to low and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes. After 5-7 minutes, I come back and carefully remove the lid because there is water and steam thanks to dem taters! I gently shake the pan to loosen the potatoes and then flip them a couple of times to ensure that the non cooked side is face down on the pan.

Halfway through the process...and I'm trying not to spear one and eat it...

If you can’t flip it, use a spatula. I flip it because it’s one less thing to wash. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was lazy. I turn the heat up to medium and I cover up the potatoes, letting them cook for another 5 minutes. I do check to make sure they haven’t fallen apart because you want them to be fork tender, not impossible to spear! Finally I take the lid off, shake the pan a few times to dislodge stuff, flip the potatoes and then let them cook for a few minutes to get a bit of a crunch on them. There you go…my secret to my pan-fried potatoes without a pot of boiling water in sight.

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